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Thai government declares martial law

Thai government declares martial law

Tourists in the popular destination of Thailand were placed on high alert this morning after a decision by the Army Chief to declare martial law across the whole of the country.

Soldiers have taken over TV and radio stations, and blocked off roads in the capital, Bangkok, and in neighbouring provinces.

Martial law supersedes the Internal Security Act which had previously been imposed by the government in the country and comes after months of escalating tensions with opposition demonstrators.

The move could enrage supporters of the government, with the army having staged at least 11 coups since the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932.

However, the army has insisted the move is not a coup.

Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand, according to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Some of these have been violent, including the use of firearms and grenades, and there have been casualties and deaths.

The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected.

Observers in Bangkok say the deadlock in south-east Asia’s second-largest economy has got worse since prime minister Yingluck dissolved the lower house of parliament in December, and a court ordered her removal earlier this month for abuse of power.

Protest action in central Bangkok since January 2014 has caused significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with knock-on effects across the city.

The main protest site is at Ratchadamnoen Avenue with a smaller protest site at the government complex at Chaeng Watthana.

There are also sporadic rallies to government offices and private companies.